You can see their liquid outline
from a distance, water hoses
spewing forth freezing contents,
protective tarps inadequate.

One imagines icicles formed
on flesh in an instant, quicker
than the time it might take to skim
pebbles along a summer lakefront.

Peering beyond the surface of
the ridge, these protesters stand
as one, glazed over like ancient
mirrors reflecting visceral

histories. They know well the lies
that have been told. The heat of their
anger may add a moment’s warmth
before the next frigid volley

knocks them backwards, turns them around,
slipping and sliding down, frost formed
like a steely cage around them.
Then, they stand again. Chilled fists raised.